ERIC Number: ED477336
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Reading First: Lessons from Successful State Reading Initiatives.
Denton, David R.
The Reading First initiative is a central part of the federal "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001. Reading First's primary goal is to improve reading instruction and student performance in kindergarten through grade 3. By March 2003 only half of the 50 state plans had been approved for funding. Approved states included seven Southern Regional Education Board states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Lessons learned by these states during the review process, together with lessons learned by these and other states in earlier reading reform initiatives, may be useful in helping other states prepare reading plans that can win federal approval and achieve needed improvements in reading results. The following points reflect experiences common to all these states in the process of producing their final approved plans: there is no list of approved reading programs; target the worst-performing schools--real change must happen at the school level; no detail is too small; all decisions about program design and implementation should be data driven; providing professional development in reading to a school's entire faculty is a powerful instrument for change; it is essential that administrators go through some professional development with their teachers; professional development models that seek to train selected faculty from a school to go back and teach their peers often are unsuccessful; professional development should provide ample opportunities for teachers to apply their lessons directly to solving the problems of real students; train teachers in the use of peer coaching teams; involve universities and teacher education programs from the start; do not expect too much of the initial training--follow-up and reinforcement are the keys to success; and do not try to do too much too fast. (NKA)
Descriptors: Planning, Primary Education, Reading Improvement, Reading Instruction, Reading Programs, State Programs
Southern Regional Education Board, 592 10th St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318. Tel: 404-875-9211; Web Site: http://www.sreb.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.